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Living Wills become More Popular in Estate Planning Choices

Posted on in Estate Planning

Many people are under the misconception that estate planning is only for the rich and the elderly. In estate planning, an estate is not a large mansion, but it is actually everything a person owns when they die. Personal property, bank accounts, their home or other property, digital information, stocks, retirement plans, and business ownership all fall under the domain of a person's estate.

Whether wealthy or not, everyone should have a will or living trust to clearly spell out your wishes in the event of your death. A living trust, also referred to as a living will, is becoming a more and more popular choice in estate planning, especially as it avoids the probate process a will is required to go through to determine its validity. In a living will, you determine who the trustee or the trustees are and who the beneficiaries will be. Check with your attorney to see if you and your spouse should also be on the list of trustees, as this will enable you to maintain complete control of your assets while you are still alive. Like a will, a living will allows you to clearly spell out which of your assets goes to whom and how those assets should be handed out. For example, you may not want a young adult to suddenly inherit a large sum of money so your instructions could include the assets be portioned out over a period of time. An attorney can help you decide if a will or a living will is the right choice for you based on your assets and the size of your estate. Whether a large or not so large estate, the basic questions for estate planning are the same.
  • Who are the loved ones you want to provide for?
  • What assets will you have to gift to your beneficiaries when you die?
  • What will your liabilities (i.e. debts) be?
  • When do you want your beneficiaries to receive your gifts (i.e. minor children)?
If you have questions on whether or not a will or living will is right for you, contact a qualified DuPage County estate planning attorney today to help decide which are offer the best options.
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